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Do you see yourself as members of the Hungarian belly dance or tribal community?

Definitely.  We can say that we are members of the Hungarian tribal community. In tribal circles they know our name. But we have to show ourselves on the stage again and again.

In Hungary the tribal belly dance community just started to blossom. Many years ago there was a regular annual tribal gala where Hungarian tribal groups met. In 2008 the organiser started a contest instead of the gala. This competition was the big tribal meeting but there was no other tribal event until next year’s contest. Last year it  changed again. Since then tribal dancers organise tribal haflas every second month. Sometimes tribal teachers from abroad show up, who teach workshops and perform at the events. They are always friendly and funny tribal parties. We usually go to these haflas and galas. Last year we met Eliran and Manca Pavla before Hannover. And now when we met them again we already knew each other. So this events in Hungary are a very good chance to meet other dancers.

Unfortunately in Hungary the tribal and raqs sharqi/show community are isolated. On the most tribal organised gala only a few raqs sharqi dancer perform. And the opposite is also true, in the raqs sharqi events usually not tribal dancers perform. We don’t really know why.

I’ll give you an example: we never danced in a non tribal event (except the usual belly dance festival in our city). The raqs sharqi dancers say that we (the tribal belly dancers) have a really good connection with each other. They don’t have this relationship between themselves. Probably the reason for this is that the tribal is mostly a group formation whilst raqs sharqi is a solo style. This separation is a bad thing because we could learn so much from each other.

How did you like the Hanoverian experience?

Of course, we loved it! The city was beautiful, absolutely stunning. On Friday we had a city tour and we mused about ourselves, if the weather wouldn’t be so cold and rainy we would think of moving to this city. We were just kidding … but really, Hanover absolutly impressed us. The festival was also very good: we loved the precise organization. It was good to see the German dancers, how differently they dance in the same style. Also we loved the costumes: one group had fairy ears, it was sooo funny. Everybody was so kind and open. It was good to see the international dancers.

And the bazaar was also fabulous. When we flew back to Hungary on Monday we felt we could easily have stayed a little longer in Hanover.

Have you been to other countries?

No, unfortunately not. We planned to go the tribal festival at Split in Coratia) but we finally cancelled the idea. Next year, maybe … It is no easy task to travel abroad because we have family, job, and the travel costs also are high. But if we get an invitation, like the one we got from Ariene (Tribal Fetival organizer), of course we're coming.


Have you been to Germany before, and where/when will we see you again?

This festival was our first performance abroad. We absolutely loved it. We’ve never been in Germany before (except Kitti because her family lives in Germany). Hanover is a beautiful and calm city. We loved the metro line and the old town.

Next March we shall go to Hanover again because we will perform at the World of Orient 2012. Then we are about to return to Germany. We have already started to prepare for the event, we look forward to be there again.

Until then we are having performances in Hungary as well. In July and August we’ll dance in summer festivals and in September we’ll perform on an acoustic hafla. Then we're going to dance on the Samantha Emanuel’s gala in November. So we don't have time to rest.

Homepage Berill Tribal Bellydance: www.hastanc.co.cc
Photos © Konstanze Winkler
Graphic design: Konstanze Winkler
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"WE HAVE A REALLY GOOD CONNECTION WITH EACH OTHER"
Interview with the
Berill Tribal Bellydance Group
by Marcel Bieger